“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:5-7
Recently I took a walk with my youngest daughter, Ruby. She’d grabbed a magnifying glass before we left the house, but for the first bit of our walk she just kind of walked at a normal pace – once in a while looking down through the circle as she walked. At one point, I picked up a twig, and asked her to use her magnifying glass so that we could look closer at it together.
Looking back at this picture, I’m reminded of the verses above. Many times we hear parents today not wanting to “force faith on their children”. Maybe they had a bad experience of being forced to sit quietly in church, or getting yelled at for inappropriate words, and not wanting that to happen to their kids. This approach to faith gives very little value to what exactly we mean when we say “God”. After all, we buckle our kids seat belts, get their vaccines up to date, and keep them from swallowing poison, right? How much more valuable is the purpose/source/future of all things that ever/will exist, and being a part of it all the way we were created/invited to? 🙂
Sometimes our kids will take initiative and discover some amazing things we never would have on our own. The number of times my kids have stopped to watch an insect, or a bird, or a balloon….etc…grows daily. But many more times, it’s part of our identity as parents to direct our children toward things/experiences that matter. To pray with them. To read scripture with them. To talk about things that matter in the same way we examined that twig together above.
Of course, that may make us want to know a thing or two about twigs before we examine them with our children. (speaking figuratively there, of course) May God be with us, as we examine/experience twigs, and as we impress them upon our children and families…